‘Fitting tribute’ appears on statue

Freddie Gilroy sculpture with remembrance cross and poppy.'120801b

Freddie Gilroy sculpture with remembrance cross and poppy.'120801b

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A SOMBRE tribute has been left on the enormous sculpture of war hero Freddie Gilroy.

An anonymous passer-by has attached a poppy embedded on a remembrance cross on to the chest of the 12ft sculpture, which is located on Marine Drive and was bought for the town by Maureen Robinson. The tribute comes soon after vandals caused outrage throughout Scarborough by dousing the statue in yellow paint.

Jackie Willby, who was instrumental in bringing the statue to Scarborough, called the poppy and cross “a fitting tribute”, adding: “In the backlash of what happened with the paint, I see it as a mark of respect.

“I think that’s what Freddie was all about.”

The tribute comes in the same week that the late Freddie would have celebrated his birthday on February 24.

He spent his 24th birthday at Belsen, the concentration camp he helped liberate. His relatives said that from that day, he wept on every subsequent birthday until his death in 2008.